Sad news hit the comedy community today. Carl LaBove, who had made a name for himself in the world of stand-up starting in the 1980’s all the way up until everything shut down last year, has passed away after a long battle with prostate cancer.
After growing up a millitary kid in Fort Worth, Texas, LaBove performed comedy for the first time when he was 19. While doing so, he met a young Sam Kinison. And as Kinison’s career was getting traction as one of the first rock and roll comics, LaBove was right there with him, a founding member of the Outlaws of Comedy that would tour with Kinison. When Kinison died in a car accident in 1992, LaBove was holding him in his arms as he passed.
Aside from his work with Kinison, LaBove made appearances in multiple films and television including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Hi-Riders, Night Patrol, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Seinfeld, Roseanne, The Parent ‘Hood, Bar Hopping, and Pauly Shore Is Dead. In 1996, he was part of the repertory company of a new show on Fox titled Saturday Night Special, executive produced by Roseanne. The show was short-lived, only lasting 4 episodes. His last television appearance was in last year’s The Comedy Store documentary on Showtime.
In 2011, LaBove made headlines when he appeared on WTF with Marc Maron. On the episode, he talked about discovering that the daughter he had been raising and paying child support for was not his, but in fact, Kinison’s. He only discovered this years after the fact, and a DNA test that Kinison’s brother did came back almost certain as a match.
Members of the comedy community have been taking to Twitter to remember the man who was so much more than just Kinison’s buddy. As a comic, Marc Maron describes him as “one of the most under appreciated masters of stand-up.” We’re inclined to agree. And while he never achieved the rockstar status that he saw his friend achieve in the 80’s, LaBove was still out there on the road, absolutely killing it as he always had.
RIP Carl LaBove. True original. Hilarious. One of the most under appreciated masters of standup.
— marc maron (@marcmaron) April 23, 2021
The first time I saw Carl LaBove onstage was 1990 or 91 when he opened for Sam Kinison at Rascals in NJ. I was brand new in the business and it was awe inspiring (and terrifying) to see how funny a real comedian could be. RIP Carl.
— Jim Norton (@JimNorton) April 24, 2021
I am sadden to say a great comic, a friend, a guy I golfed with that was really good passed today. Any chance I had to watch him on stage I made sure I did. RIP Carl LaBove you will be missed.
— RichVos (@RichVos) April 23, 2021
RIP Carl LaBove- such a funny comedian, and nice guy. Long career. Nothing but respect. 🙏🙏🙏
— Moderna Kilmartin (@anylaurie16) April 23, 2021
— Earl Skakel (@EarlSkakel) April 23, 2021
Backstage at The Tonight Show with Carl LaBove and Dan Barton in the mid 90s. Carl passed earlier today after a long battle with cancer. He was funny right up to the very end. He was my friend for 35 years and I will miss him. pic.twitter.com/x7dmP9arwp
— Dan Pasternack (@DanPasternack) April 23, 2021
Carl LaBove made friends everywhere he went. (It is astounding how many friends he had!!!) I am so fortunate that I got to spend as much time as I did with him, on stage and off. Truly one of the greatest men I’ve ever known. Such joy. Such heart. https://t.co/Xz7n2Tjg33
— Ryan Stout (@StoutRyan) April 23, 2021
— MazJobrani (@MazJobrani) April 24, 2021
My old buddy, Carl LaBove just passed today as many in the Comedy Store community have heard.
— Pauly Shore (@PaulyShore) April 24, 2021
I just heard my comedy brother and long time friend Carl LaBove just passed away!
He and I started comedy together in Houston at the Comedy Workshop
He was such a great guy. So funny. And he always cheered me on. I’ll miss his laughter and friendship#RIPCarlLaBove
— Steve Mudflap McGrew’s REMASCULATE Podcast! (@REMASCULATE) April 23, 2021
Carl was a true Rock n Roll Comedian. I will miss him big time. This was one of my favorite episodes of Let There Be Talk – Carl LaBove/Comedian, Comedy Store Legend. https://t.co/CTjeQg5MFv
— Dean Delray (@deandelray) April 24, 2021